Harrisonburg officer injured investigating animal complaint

Published: Mar. 21, 2021 at 9:58 AM EDT
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UPDATE (March 22, 5 p.m.) — The Harrisonburg Police Department (HPD) has released additional information regarding an officer who had been injured while officials investigated an animal complaint on Saturday, March 20.

The complaint involved a cow that had escaped from a local stockyard.

According to a press release from HPD, after the cow was injured during the process to corral it by individuals affiliated with the stockyard, officers with HPD became concerned about the potential threat to public safety the injured cow presented.

Police say in the process of euthanizing the injured animal, it charged at officers on the scene, hitting an officer. Master Police Officer Bradley Boyce was struck in the legs by one bullet from an officer’s firearm. Officials were then able to euthanize the cow.

HPD says as per department protocol, any discharge of a firearm with injury to a person is investigated and referred to the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for review. The investigation remains active.

The press release says Boyce was treated at Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital and later transported to UVA Medical Center. He continues to be in stable condition, alert and in good spirits.

HPD Interim Chief Gabriel Camacho stated in the press release that, “on behalf of the HPD, we thank all of the members of the community who have expressed their concern for MPO Boyce and for all of the wishes for his speedy recovery.”

UPDATE (March 21,12:45 p.m.) — Harrisonburg Police report that the officer who was shot during the animal complaint call is recovering from his injuries at UVA Medical Center.

He is reportedly in stable condition, alert and in good spirits.

HPD said the officer was shot once during the encounter and suffered from a wound to the lower body.


HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Officers with the Harrisonburg Police Department responded to an animal complaint just before 10:30 p.m. Saturday near Edom Rd. and Virginia Ave.

According to a press release from HPD, a cow had gotten loose from a stockyard earlier in the day and was running at-large in the northern end of the city.

The cow was then reported to be in the 900 block of N. Main St. near 7-Eleven.

In an attempt by local ranchers to capture the animal, it became injured, and officers were forced to intervene.

One Harrisonburg Police officer was injured by gunfire in the encounter when the cow charged at officers.

He was taken to Sentara RMH and later transferred to UVA Medical Center for treatment of a non-life-threatening injury.

There were no other reports of injuries. The cow was euthanized.

The investigation is being conducted by HPD’s Major Crimes Unit and is ongoing.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has other information is encouraged to contact HPD’s Major Crimes Unit at (540) 437-2640. To remain anonymous contact Crime Solvers at (540) 574- 5050 or text “HPD” plus their tip to CRIMES (274637).

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